When I first started practicing mindfulness, I was shocked at how just a few moments each day of being calmly aware of my feelings, body, and thoughts—and guiding my thoughts back to the present moment—centered me and helped me focus.
I quickly realized that, much in the way mindfulness helps one focus at work, at school, or in relationships, my takeaways from mindfulness practice could be applied to my finances, and spending problems, as well.
Here is how mindfulness helps me save money–and could help you, too:
- Mindfulness helps me save money by forcing me to be present, even when I am planning ahead for the future.
- Mindfulness brings me back to earth when I find myself mindlessly scrolling through a deal website, in a fit of internet window-shopping.
- Most importantly, mindfulness permits me to stop, take a breath, and be fully aware of my thoughts and feelings—in a non-judgmental manner—when I find myself breathlessly filling up a cart during a massive sale.
- Mindfulness allows me to understand why, in the moment I am shopping, I am searching for the thing outside myself.
- Mindfulness allows me to screw my head on straight and stop shopping.
Of course, sometimes we truly do need to shop: for food, for our pets, for other necessities. But in my journey to become financially stable, I realized just how much of my shopping was utterly mindless.
For those of us with spending problems or shopping addiction, one of the main issues is how much shopping takes us outside of ourselves. It’s as though we are having an out-of-body experience, not thinking about the consequences and focusing only on the dopamine rush we receive when picking out a shiny new thing.
Mindfulness places a wrench in this process by forcing our attention to the present. And this forces us to ask why we are shopping, and whether we should be.
By using mindfulness strategies to stop shopping, I have saved money. And for me, that has been the most invaluable practice.
If you take a few moments out of each day to be fully aware, bringing attention to the present moment, it very well may help you quell the urge to mindlessly scroll for the next item to purchase.
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